We caught up with our Knowledge Partners at Vamstar to find out all about their vision, perceived challenges and hopes for the partnership with Health Proc Europe.
1. Who is behind Vamstar and what is your vision?
Vamstar is founded by 3 entrepreneurs with over 50 years of experience in health care coverage, artificial intelligence, and software engineering.
My Name is Praful Mehta and I am the CEO at Vamstar. With commercial experience in Europe, Asia, and the Americas, I have spent my career helping health care companies. Understand the changing commercial and procurement landscape. Dr. Richard Freeman is the CTO of artificial intelligence and leads our AI and machine learning team. Vishesh Ducker is the CTO of our software engineering and leads the product and software teams.
Right from the beginning of my professional journey, I have been perplexed about the inefficiency of health care models. Most Buyers, hospitals, health systems have incomplete or poor data on suppliers in the market, leading to increased supply chain risk. And Suppliers on the other hand are constantly trying to find Buyers and the overall demand for the products and services. This inefficiency can become obvious in a crisis, such as the one which we are facing now, COVID-19 pandemic. We want to change this by matching the demand and supply in real-time, using artificial intelligence. We want to improve the supplier and buyer data, introduce efficiencies that put buyers and sellers in the market place.
2. How do we see the link between procurement in healthcare and the platform solutions?
Procurement is undergoing a transformation in our industry and will completely change in the next few years.
All make to back-office functions will change with emerging delivery models defined by initiative, value-based programs, and digitalization procurement processes. It is in this context, that the platform offers the integrative solution and duplication of effort, consolidative view of the marketplace, including Buyer and Supplier information, and disaggregation of demand.
3. What do you think are the best and worst aspects of digital procurement? How should we handle it?
On the benefit side, a lot has been discussed across industry forums. But one major plus apart from all the efficiency games is for procurement teams to play a strategic role – accelerating innovation within healthcare.
The negative side is resistance to change for organizations, as short-term new digital methods force the organization to learn and develop new processes. However, by seeing the big picture and having a focused communication across procurement teams and resources outside, can transform the accelerating journey.
Digital procurement – and this goes without saying- automated some of the purchasing processes, and free up resources, work on partnerships and strategic rules that can make the organization more impel and agile to achieving the grand distribution.
4. What is your advice on how to support digital transformation on the procurement level?
Digital transformation procurement is high on all agendas. However, most teams do not have a digital strategy and even less a structured roadmap for action. It is important to highlight that digital transformation, is more than just using software to automated decanted processes. But one has to look at it from the operating model point of view.
It has to do with the five P’s:
- and Platform.
This combined deliver the value and growth to the organization. It is in this context that we see procurement as a service kind of approach towards introducing the change within the organization. Technology can be just an enabler in this journey, but the wider transformation will require change across the business process and culture of decision making.
5. What opportunities do you see for digital healthcare procurement?
We believe one of the biggest opportunities, for procurement teams, is to embrace the healthcare data supply chain. Data is going to play a prevalent role in procurement transformation moving forward.
New initiatives and interventions across the supply chain will expose a range of process efficiencies – value-givers cost down, cost out opportunities for both buyers and suppliers in the value chain process. Additionally, integration across clinical data streams to clinical value analytics will further expose cost drivers and optimization opportunities. An aggregated data view can further enhance the team’s capabilities and facilitate transformation in healthcare.
6. What current trends do you recommend to follow?
We are seeing positive changes in procurement, and a pandemic like COVID-19 has only accelerated the transformation thinking, where procurement is going to be a major force moving forward.
In that respect, we see three core trends:
- Accelerating adoption of modern technology: this will be across the spectrum and throughout the procurement life-cycle. Alias such as catalog management and purchase to pay, which are often dragged by legacy systems will also see a tremendous change in the decades ahead.
- The emergence of digital market places which connected buyers and suppliers in real-time using modern automation technologies: this is an area where we are focusing on our efforts as well, and lastly
- The adoption of value based procurement within the core strategy: this will move the organization away from reactive to a more proactive forward-looking a way of thinking.
In the value-based procurement community of practice, it is an estimate of the emergent thinking. To ensure that these opportunities can work across our ecosystem, organizations such as Health Proc Europe will have a greater role moving forward, to connect different teams and share the learning across our community in Europe. It is only through collective and continuous learning that we will be able to achieve a successful digital transformation.
6. The Health Proc Europe and Vamstar Partnership
Vamstar is being presented as a Health Proc Europe Knowledge Partner. So what are our goals with this partnership?
We are very fortunate to be part of the Health Proc Europe Knowledge Partner set-up and thankful to the vital membership. It is our mission to help the procurement community here in Europe, by bringing in the latest tools and technologies to the table and connecting disparate datasets of buyers and suppliers to facilitate this change. We believe that the time has come for all of us in healthcare to come together, partner-up, and facilitate the learnings so that we can make the community stronger and be a strategic driver for growth within our organization. We look forward to deepening our partnership with Health Proc Europe to further our collective mission.